Sunday, February 26, 2012

Her Stylish Trails

When I traveled to Europe last fall, I was so happy to see my good friend Erika waiting for me at the airport in Brussels, Belgium.  She'd been traipsing around Southern Europe the month prior enjoying sun, new friendships and tapas.  The first thing I noticed about her when I arrived is that she didn't stick out in the least bit, she blended in perfectly with her breezy, laid-back, care-free style.

She has a great way of fitting in to her surroundings.  Her chamilion-like clothing enables her to wander about the world without drawing too much unwanted attention to herself.

One thing we noticed as we traveled around Europe was that everyone was sporting a scarf.  Erika travels with quite the collection!  We joked that it didn't really matter what you were wearing, your look wasn't complete without a scarf.  While we were in Bruges, we encountered a great open air market and she walked away with three fabulous scarves that totally compliment her eclectic style.

I even noticed that a local here or there would approach her asking a question in their native language... she and I would just laugh.  That is how well she can blend!

Even at Oktoberfest she fit in splendidly with her dirndl! 

Erika left for a tour of the Southern Hemisphere in early January.  I've had a great time following her adventures on her blog Her Happy Trails.  She is doing a great job of documenting the events attended, friends made, volunteer opportunities, and even her choice of clothing during her travels.

Stop by, say hi and send her some blog lovin'!

~Love and miss you Erika~

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Puppy Love and Pet Peeves

Jake insisted on making an appearance for the Valentines Day photo shoot.  And who am I to deny him his place in the spotlight?  It is pure puppy love!

Luckily we had a "dress down" day at school on Tuesday for Valentine's Day so I was able to be a bit festive with my clothing.  There are certain things I have to keep in mind while choosing an outfit for school though...
  1. Will I be devastated if I get product on my outfit?  I work with various facial cleansers, lotions, clay masks, waxes and other messy things while I'm at school and chances are, I will be wearing some of it by the end of the day. I wasn't going to be devastated if I got product on any of the pieces and they are all machine washable - yay!
  2. Will I be comfortable in this outfit while giving facials, providing waxing services and while walking around on a tile floor?  I love wearing skirts and dresses but they require a certain amount of awareness.  While giving a facial, it isn't my priority to make sure I'm sitting lady-like.  The leggings addressed that concern and kept me from inadvertently flashing anyone!
  3. Is the outfit "salon professional" or comparable to what a client would expect to see if they were at a salon, day spa or professional skin care setting?  While I wouldn't wear this if I worked in a day spa setting, I felt like I could walk in to a salon and be right at home with this attire.  Although, I was surprised to see what others considered appropriate - not judging - ok, maybe I'm judging. 
Some general thoughts on dressing salon profesh: UGGs = Ugg! If your look makes Ke$ha look modest, reconsider! Hooded sweatshirts make a statement and that statement is "I didn't care enough to get dressed this morning."  A pink pajama shirt has its place, and it isn't at school.  If you walk in heels like both of your ankles are sprained, I have a hard time taking you seriously. --- That's all, rant over

Just joking, rant not quite over.  One final pet peeve:

No where in the word is there an "M" - I can't even tell you how I cringe when I hear "Happy Valentime's Day!" 


Say it with me now!


 I'm terrible, I know. 

Outfit Details
Pink Dress: Merona via Target
Denim Jacket: Bacci via Ross
Black Leggings: Ann Taylor Loft
Black Belt: NY&Co
Blue Ballet Flats: Lindsay Phillips via Marshall's
Blue Hinged Watch: Charming Charlie

Monday, February 13, 2012

MAC Style Session

On Sunday night I attended a MAC Style Session with the MAC store at the Roseville Galleria.  They closed down the store an hour early to get ready for the event - you can see the ladies through the window setting up water and snacks for the participants.

The store front of the Roseville Galleria MAC location.
 I was so excited to attend this Style Session in order to get some great tips and tricks from the MAC artists teaching the class.  For those of you interested in attending a style session, check in with your local MAC store or MAC counter for upcoming events.  There is a cost of $50 to attend, but that money goes on to a gift card for you to use after the style session.  So lets get this straight... you will probably spend $50 at MAC so why not get some education out of the deal?  Style Sessions are usually held after hours (which means you don't have to deal with teeny-boppers wanting to try on every shade of lipstick or the lady demanding a make-over because she and her "boo" are going on a date tonight).

The artists, Ashley and Stephie, showcased two different looks on the models: Ore-Inspired meets Nouveau and Ath-Elite meets Neon (instead of showing four different looks, they were combined on the two models). For a full breakdown of the looks, check out the MAC Spring/Summer 2012 Makeup Trend Report post by Phillis at Make Up For Life.  Her description of the trends is spot on and goes in much more detail than I ever could. 

MAC artists Stephanie and Ashley working on their spring trend looks.
 Through out the session, the artists kept emphasizing the importance of brushes.  They made the correlation that a baker would have a difficult time making a cake without the proper tools (mixer, spatula, cake pan), likewise it would be difficult to get the desired look without the proper brushes. 
  • In the lower right corner, you'll see the Ath-Elite meets Neon look.  For the eye shadow Stephanie used Lustre Drops and for a depth and dimension, she used bronzer and blush - the same ones she used on the rest of her face.  I think this is such a great idea for those of us that like to travel to tropical locations - it minimizes the amount of product you have to pack and the look was so dewy yet put together.
  • In the upper left corner, you'll see the Ore-Inspired meets Nouveau.  This look used the Aloha: Crushed Metallic Pigments in so many different facets. Of course it was used for the eyes but it was used as a bronzer and it was added to some moisturizer to give the model's legs and incredible glow!
It may seem so simple but I never thought of how versatile each product can be!  I took away many tips and tricks for multiple ways I can use the products I already own and gave me great ideas about items I'd like to purchase in the future.

My haul from the style session.

The Make It Perfect Brush Kit - Mineralize - $49.50
The staff found a box of these brushes left over from the holidays and brought them out for us - SCORE! The kit came with a make-up bag and the 187 SE, 130 SE, 286 Duo Fibre Tapered Brush and 282 Duo Fibre Shader Brush.  I'm excited to put these little guys to work.  At $49.50 this brush set is so reasonable for building up your collections of brushes!

Eye Shadow - All That Glitters and Soft Brown $12.00 each
These may seem boring but I'm lacking in neutrals in my shadow collection.  My hope is to start helping a few of my friends with their bridal looks in the next couple of months and so I'm focusing on colors that are appropriate for neutral and natural looks.

Lip Liner - Burgundy - $14.00
I tend to stick to softer colors for lips so I was on a mission to step a little out of my comfort zone and get a color in the red family.  After talking to the sales gal for a little while we decided burgundy would not only go well with my coloring but go well with the lipsticks I already own.  And if I put on the lip liner with the Tendertone below, I end up with a lovely reddish color!

Cook MAC Tendertone Lip Balm - Hot 'n' Saucy - $15.00
These are going to go fast so pick one up if you are interested!  Tendertones were re-released as part of the Cook-MAC collection.  If your local store if out, be sure to check the website.  This is one of the multi-use products demo'd during the Style Session.  It can be used as lip balm, cheek color or a highlighter (depending on the color).  It has an SPF of and smells like a cherry Jolly Rancher - so excited!

I had a great time and look forward to attending another in the future.  If you have any questions about the Style Session feel free to shoot them my way! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nothin' Too Fancy

Black and a pinch of color from Charming Charlie!

Keeping within the dress code at school, I bring you an outfit of entirely black.  I really shouldn't complain too much about this.  A few years back the school had a dress code of ALL WHITE.  You heard me correctly... white!  I'm in school with people interested in careers the beauty industry, not future health care professionals.  Thankfully there was a student rebellion a few years ago and now we have a wide horizon of white and black!

Tuesday through Thursday we have theory (class) in the morning and then we see clients in the afternoon. I tend to keep it pretty simple on those days.  I dress for comfort and warmth.  But on Friday and Saturday we see clients all day long.  I try to dress it up a little by adding a splash of color or print with accessories.  Colors and patterns are permitted as long as they are kept to accessories.

I thought the bright blue watch would be a great addition to this all black ensemble.  It was one of the items I recently picked up at Charming Charlie.  Training as an esthetician includes having my hands in cleanser, lotion, moisturizer, wax, and other cosmetics all day long.  I also have many timed treatments through out the day so it is more important that I regularly wear a watch.  When I saw this hinged watch in bright blue I knew it would be a great way to add a dash of color to my limited wardrobe. Not only is it cute and sparkly, but the hinge allows me to remove the watch with out getting product all over the band... score!

Here is a close-up of my make up for the day - mind you the photos were taken after a full day at school.
The other thing about a limited wardrobe is that it really pushes me to be more creative with my hair and makeup. It is a small way to feel a little different in a sea of black lab coats.

Would there be any interest in cosmetic reviews or tutorials in the future? I don't claim to be a pro (yet) but I'd love to share some of the not-so great products I'm running across as I get further in to my learning. Let me know what you think!

Outfit Details
Black Dress: Fashion Bug
Black Leggings: kikaPaprika
Black Belt with Snake Detail: NY&Co
Black Patent Flats: Nicole via Ross
Blue Hinged Watch: charming charlie

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Guess What We Have? - Charming Charlie

Argh, this post took forever to post! I couldn't get the pictures to upload correctly and kept having to walk away from the computer.  Now for your viewing (and retail) pleasure, I bring you a new post!


Last summer I saw a post by Tina from T Minus, T Plus regarding Charming Charlie, an accessory store that had yet to reach the west coast.  A few months ago I was in Reno, NV and saw a sign for Charming Charlie and I was thrilled to know that there was finally a store within driving distance from my house!  Unfortunately I didn't have time to stop that day.

I recently found out that we got our very own Charming Charlie at the Fountain's in Roseville (much closer than Reno, NV).  My boyfriend's daughter and I wandered in on New Year's Day and spent well over an hour examining every bracelet, purse, hair accessory, pair of sunglasses, and ring in the store.  I was expecting a super jewelry store but it was much more of an accessory experience! 

The store is arranged in color categories making it very easy to find that perfect pair of earrings for that pink dress or a great green watch to match your favorite scarf!  From tops to sun glasses, purses to shoes, bracelets to necklaces... the store had it all!  Not only was the selection fantastic, but the prices were as well.  The majority of the pieces I looked at were well under $40.  There were also many cute bags under $50.

Being on a budget stinks to say the least.  Being out of work and going to school has virtually eliminated my shopping budget so I chose one pair of glasses for under $10.  But being in the store gave me some great ideas of how to dress up my school uniform (black and white) without breaking the budget.  We are allowed to wear colorful accessories so I may have to run back to Charming Charlie in the near future to add some flare to my otherwise predictable daily wear!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

While motivation in some parts of my life has been strong (starting school and fitness goals), other areas (ie. my blog) not so much.  It was my intention so many times to give you an update of whats going on in the world of the Clothed Commuter but the intentions never seemed to grow into anything more than that.  Here is a super quick recap:

September: Got ready for Europe Trip, and left for Europe Trip
October: Returned home from trip.Started a fitness/weightloss challenge and committed to improving my health. Started seriously researching cosmetology or esthetics as a career change.
November: Continued my work out regime and tried to eat as clean as possible during Thanksgiving. Decided to start school to become an esthetician with the help and encouragement from friends and family - started school on November 29.
December: Got a bit of a sinus thing which really slowed down my work outs but I managed to lose 10 lbs during between October 15-Deceber 15!  Continued with school. Got to enjoy some quality time with lil sis Mimi.

I'm excited to be commuting again!  Even if I'm not commuting to work, I'm commuting to school and lacing up my sneaks to commute around the neighborhood regularly.  I'm hoping to start documenting outfits again but I have to warn you: there may only be two per week.  At school, the dress code is black from the waist down and a black or white top.  This doesn't leave a whole lot of room for creativity.  You may have to deal with photos like the one below once in a while too! 

Since New Year's is a time for resolutions I guess I'm going to resolve to pay more attention to my blog.  I love it, I learn a lot from it, and I've even heard that I occasionally amuse one or two of you!  I'm also resolving to keep the fitness routine going.  It is much harder now that I'm back in school but I feel so much better now that I'm taking care of myself and I can't let that fall to the wayside!

I hope you are all enjoying your holiday season.  Hug the ones you love, enjoys a day off here and there, and treat yourself to a yummy holiday treat - but don't go overboard :o)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Bags Are Packed, I'm Ready To Go!

Excited (and a little nervous) doesn't even begin to express how I'm feeling about my trip. On September 22 - TOMORROW, I'll be leaving for a 10 day trip to Europe... Brussels, Belgium - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Munich, Germany.  I'll be flying out by myself and meeting my friend Erika in Brussels.
One of the things that has me a little nervous is what to pack.  Will I be warm enough?  Will I be too hot?  What if I manage to spill something on a piece I intended to wear more than once? Do I have appropriate clothing for the activities we planned? -There are many other things that I've thought about but com'on, this is a blog about what I wear so I'm just listing those things.

Let me tell you, it is really hard packing for cooler weather when we are experiencing weather in the high 90's!  I broke a sweat more than once trying things on for the trip.  I bet you are wondering what I've packed... here are a few pictures. 

Cardigans, Short-Sleeve Tops, Tanks and Camis, Long Sleeve Tops

Pants and skirt and leggings, Nice Top and PJ's, Unmentionables, Shoes
Hats, Scarves, and other things that'll make traveling a little more comfortable.
And it all fits in here!
I have a few last minute things that I'll be putting in there but for now, I have ample room and my bag isn't anywhere near the 50lb weight limit... hooray! They way I look at it, more room for shopping while I'm there! 

Erika and I just finished Skyping and I feel so much better.  We've worked out where we will be meeting once I get there and what sort of things I need to make sure to have with me.  In less than 24 hours I'll be sitting in the airport in Washington, DC getting ready to board my plane for Belgium.  

I have to go run a few errands before the day is done so toodles!  Don't be worried about me if you don't see another post for about two weeks.  If I get a chance I'll send out little updates.  Enjoy yourselves and behave while I'm gone traipsing around the world.